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Capital Beat

Capital Beat: A senator, a blogger and an engine repairman wander into a presidential campaign . . .

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A down-on-his-luck U.S. senator isn’t getting much traction in his presidential campaign – until a chance encounter with an Iowa engine repairman provides him with homespun wisdom that helps him get his groove back. Rick Santorum? John Kerry? Try Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Phil Granby, who vaults from the back of the pack into a dead heat with the GOP front-runner, Florida Gov. Bob Morgan. But while the presidential campaign moves …

NRCC radio ad targets Rep. Shea-Porter over Obamacare; she calls attack false

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter represents one of the nation’s swingiest swing districts, and the National Republican Congressional Committee is trying to soften her up even as Frank Guinta and Dan Innis gear up for a contested GOP primary in the 1st District. The NRCC today began airing a 60-second radio ad featuring a woman who says the health plan used by her and …

Capital Beat: Bob Smith is far from the first in N.H. to seek a political comeback

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bob Smith isn’t the first former U.S. senator from New Hampshire to attempt a later-in-life political comeback.  In fact, Smith – who announced a week ago he’ll run against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014 – won the first of his two terms in the Senate in 1990. His opponent that year: Democrat John Durkin, who was attempting to return to the U.S. Senate a …

Capital Beat: 1st District primary could test debate over GOP’s future

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Republicans took a hard look at their party after the 2012 election, and not everyone liked what they saw. As the Republican National Committee’s “Growth and Opportunity Project” report put it, “The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide …

Hassan calls government shutdown “reckless and unnecessary” as it comes to an end

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gov. Maggie Hassan is welcoming the end of the federal government shutdown but declaring that “the days of Washington operating by showdown must end.” In a statement late last night after Congress voted to reopen the government after a 16-day shutdown, Hassan, a Democrat, said the fight over …

Poll: Plurality of N.H. voters blame congressional Republicans for shutdown

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A plurality of New Hampshire voters blame congressional Republicans for the 15-day-old shutdown of the federal government, according to a poll released today. The survey by New England College, taken Oct. 7-9 with a 3 percent margin of error, found 49 percent of registered voters say Republicans in …

Ayotte named a “New Englander of the Year” by New England Council

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte is getting an award tomorrow night. The New England Council has named the New Hampshire Republican one of four winners of its 2013 “New Englander of the Year” award. The council described Ayotte as “a New Hampshire native who has devoted her life to …

Republican Dan Innis announces run for Congress in N.H.’s 1st District

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dan Innis, the outgoing business-school dean at the University of New Hampshire, is running for Congress. Innis, a Portsmouth Republican, announced his campaign for the 1st District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, a Rochester Democrat, in an online video. “I have benefitted from the American …

Capital Beat: Republican, Democrat . . . none of the above?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Portraits of New Hampshire governors stretching back to the 1700s hang in the State House: Josiah Bartlett and Isaac Hill, Robert Bass and John Gilbert Winant, Sherman Adams and Mel Thomson. But how would an artist capture the …

Ayotte, Shaheen will donate salaries to charity during government shutdown

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Both of New Hampshire’s U.S. senators say they’ll donate their salaries to charity as long as the federal government is shut down. Under the 27th Amendment, Congress can’t change its compensation mid-session, meaning members are continuing to receive their salaries — $174,000 a year for rank-and-file senators and …

Capital Beat: If history is guide, top N.H. officials probably won’t stay neutral in 2016

Sunday, September 29, 2013

It’s no accident EMILY’s List held a town hall Friday in Manchester to promote the idea of a “Madam President.” After all, the road to the White House in 2016 will begin in New Hampshire – and Iowa, where the group held a similar event in August. Gov. …

Obama mocks O’Brien’s Fugitive Slave Act comparison in healthcare speech

Thursday, September 26, 2013

President Obama took a potshot today at New Hampshire state Rep. Bill O’Brien over his comparison of Obamacare to the 19th century Fugitive Slave Act. At an Aug. 1 rally in Concord, O’Brien, a Mont Vernon Republican and former House speaker who at the time was considering a …

Capital Beat: In 2014, drones will be back at the N.H. State House

Sunday, September 22, 2013

If you hear a faint buzzing near the State House next year, it might be drones flying overhead – or it could be lawmakers, debating what to do about them. After an abortive attempt this year to regulate …

Shaheen leads Bass, Rubens, Testerman in new poll for 2014 Senate race

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen leads former New Hampshire congressman Charlie Bass by 10 percentage points in a potential 2014 Senate match-up, according to a new poll from a Democratic firm. Shaheen, a Democrat, would get 51 percent of the vote compared with 41 percent for Bass, a Republican …

Capital Beat: Kuster and Shea-Porter stick together in the U.S. House, except when they don’t

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New Hampshire voters sent two Democrats to the U.S. House last year. But Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster haven’t exactly been peas in a pod since arriving in Congress. Kuster and Shea-Porter vote together 91 percent of the time, according to an analysis of roll-call votes by OpenCongress.org. …